Single Portion Packaging and the Use of User Test Protocols to Determine Patient Accesibility
In 2015, the UK National Health Service (NHS) established a taskforce to review single portion food and beverage packaging, which has been identified as a potential challenge to users in hospitals. Hence, a study was undertaken to determine the suitability and accessibility of the current single portion packs. The packaging was assessed using ISO 17480 (Guidelines for Accessible Packaging), Annex D. The standard determines a pass or fail of packaging opening asking a panel 20 older adults to open a pack. A pack is recorded as a failure if within the 20 people cohort, there is an example of pack being unable to be opened within the time limit (defined as 1 minute) or the overall satisfaction score ranks below 3 on a 5-point Likert scale. Ten standard single portion packaging items were randomly selected for testing. The packs were chosen to reflect a broad range of food and beverage and packaging types. The results showed that the standard provided useful assessment data, identifying that 70% of the packs were so poorly designed that they failed to pass the standard, with 50% of the packs having examples that were unopenable by the participants, whilst a further 20% rated poorly for satisfaction.